Welcome to The Black Experience, a month long blog series through February, in honour of Black History Month, which features Black bloggers, booktubers and authors. This project aims at highlighting Black stories and experiences both in real life and in publishing, as well as showing our individual and collective struggles.
Its Valentines! Today to celebrate for day of love, Tanya Pickles will be bringing us her favourite books with Black characters in love both romantic, and familial.
If you may recall in my post highlighting my favorite reads of 2019 [read post here], I discussed that I began reading more books written by Black authors. This is in large part to me connecting with more Black bookbloggers and booktubers.
It is really is an ah ha moment, when you realize that your shelves as a Black woman, lack diverse reads. Its an ah ha moment you realize that a lot of what is on your shelf are either some of the same style of books or the most marketed books (and we know that does not include Black or POC authors).
But now that the backstory is over, I am excited to share my favorite romance with Black characters in love 😍.
1. Wonder by Christina C. Jones
I will ship this book for thee rest of my life. The romance was such a great build up and it is because the attraction between Aly and Maddox doesn’t define the story. It develops around their lives bringing together in a very heated and believable way. This book will always be one of my favorite romances with Black characters in love.
2.Snowflake by Nia Forrester
Another book that blew my mind and took every piece of emotion that I had. This romance is truly unexpected even for the characters themselves. Kal and Asha are in a turning point in their life and as opposed to beating around the bush and just ruining so much time, that allow love and it was freaking beautiful. I finished this book in one sitting and even as I write this I smile at how good and inspiring this love is.
3. The Real Mrs. Price by J.D. Mason
Okay so here my out. . . this romance isn’t the most ideal and reason for that is Plato is pretty much a demon. Marlowe is considered the “hoodoo woman” and ideally, she knows better. But Plato gets to her as much as she gets to him and as unconventional their relationship is, it works, and it builds off lust in a really good way. What I mean by that is the lust isn’t why they stick around. Its helpful but there is something more. Again, completely unconventional but this romance plays on my love of fantasy and good sex.
4. Song of Blood & Stone by L. Penelope
I cannot talk about my favorite romances without talking about Jack and Elsira. Not only is this (well I consider it) a New Adult novel, their romance was a pure slow burn that resulted in two people getting to know each other (reluctantly) in the middle of war. I loved the balance of their romance and how the attraction was not instant, but it was based off their interactions and their build trust.
Characters in love but not romantically
I wanted to add this section because there are some books that highlight love with Black characters but they are not romantic. It is important to be able to spotlight these relationships just like the others.
1. First Part Last by Angela Johnson
This is a relationship between a father, his daughter and her mother, Nia. There is that unconditional love for his daughter but there is also a love between Bobby and Nia that began as romance but shifted due to an unexpected trauma. It’s a beautiful story and my first favorite young adult novel that I actually read as a teenager.
2. Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now by Dana L. Davis
This relationship is strictly about family, what defines a family and building that trust so you can be able to love. The story itself is pretty simple and a bit of a fast read but Tiffany has to learn how to love and trust people who were never in her life and also most importantly she has to learn how to trust her mother who is no longer living. It is powerful in the sense that how do you love when your life is uprooted.
What some of your favorite Black characters in love?